Expansion BlackJacks sign Olivier Hanlan ahead of CEBL Summer Series

OTTAWA — The Ottawa BlackJacks have signed Utah Jazz draft pick Olivier Hanlan.

The 27-year-old from Aylmer, Que., has spent the past five seasons as a pro in Greece, Germany, the NBA G League, France and Lithuania, averaging 10.7 points, 2.6 rebounds and 2.2 assists in 213 games.

"Playing for the BlackJacks this summer is a unique opportunity to play with a bunch of guys who I have either competed with or against in Canada," Hanlan said in a release. "Being able to train at home and represent my community in a Canadian professional league will be a memorable experience."

The seven-team Canadian Elite Basketball League marks the first professional sports played in Canada since the COVID-19 outbreak began in mid-March.

The 26-game CEBL Summer Series tips off July 25 in St. Catharines, Ont. The expansion BlackJacks play their first game in franchise history when they face the Guelph Nighthawks in the second game of an opening-day double-header. The Hamilton Honey Badgers and Niagara River Lions face off in the opener.

Hanlan was drafted 42nd overall by Utah in 2015 and played for the Jazz in the Summer League that year. The six-foot-four guard signed with the San Antonio Spurs in 2017 and played 48 games for their G-League affiliate the Austin Spurs, averaging 14.3 points, 2.8 rebounds, and 2.6 assists.

"(Hanlan) has enjoyed a great start to his professional career," said BlackJacks GM Dave Smart. "I started working with Olivier in the club system when he was just 15 years old. Having him return home and join our club is pretty special."

He spent this past season with Iraklis Thessaloniki of the Greek Basket League where he averaged 16.3 points, 3.6 rebounds, 3.5 assists in 20 games, including a season-high 24 points versus Panathinaikos in November.

Hanlan has played for Canada's national team since 2010. He was a member of the U17 squad at the 2010 FIBA world championships and led Canada in the bronze medal win over Lithuania with 15 points. He was also a member of the senior men's team at the 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup Americas qualifiers.

Hanlan was a standout for Boston College, averaging 17.9 points, 3.9 boards and 3.1 assists in 96 appearances, and became the fifth Boston College player to earn First Team all-ACC honours. He was the ACC freshman of the year in 2013 and set the ACC freshman single-game scoring record with 41 points versus Georgia Tech in the first round of the 2013 ACC Tournament.(The Canadian Press)

Hanlan replaces guard Kaza Kajami-Keane, who has a scheduling conflict, on the BlackJacks training camp roster.

The BlackJacks have 11 players on their training camp roster.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 16, 2020.

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